Czech ban on single-use plastics goes into effect

From Oct. 1, a law banning the production and sale of single-use plastic items including straws, cutlery, and other items is now in effect.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 01.10.2022 09:57:00 (updated on 01.10.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A Czech law banning the production and sale of single-use plastic items including straws, cups, plates, cutlery, and other goods has officially taken effect as of Oct. 1, 2022. The maximum fine for violating the new law is five million crowns.

The bill banning single-use plastic items was approved by the Czech Republic's government in early 2021 under then-Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and initially slated to take effect from July of that year. Changes to the bill meant another eighteen months of making its way through Czech parliament before being approved by the Senate this August.

The new law has been passed in accordance with EU-wide regulations banning the production and sale of single-use plastics.

In addition to the aforementioned items, the new law also specifies a wide range of disposable goods, including plastic sticks used to hold balloons, polystyrene food containers, and drink stirrers and cotton swabs made from plastics.

The Ministry of the Environment previously estimated that the ban on single-use plastics would reduce the consumption of plastic items in the Czech Republic by 1.77 billion pieces annually. For most items included in the ban, reusable alternatives are already widely available.

In addition to the outright ban on single-use plastic items, the law also contains new requirements for other items made with plastics, including a label on packaging notifying consumers about reusable alternatives when applicable.

Wet wipes, filtered cigarettes, sanitary napkins and other products must all contain a new label identifying them as containing plastics, and include special instructions for their disposal.

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The law also includes measures that will require manufacturers of plastic products to participate in their cleanup across the Czech Republic. Within three years, most Czech cities, towns, and villages will be reimbursed for cleaning up plastic litter from money provided by manufacturers and controlled by Czech authorities.

According to Czech MP and former Deputy Minister of the Environment Berenika Peštová, the Czech Republic currently recycles around 80 percent of the PET bottles sold in the country, one of the highest rates in the European Union.

Under the new bill, the country will up its recycling rate to 90 percent by 2029.

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